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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  June 6, 2015 10:57pm-12:01am EDT

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r it took to get that information out of the detainees. especially the high-value ones. when people kept coming up empty they were told by cheney and rumsfeld to push harder. the iraq torture connection it's only bear mention in the senate intelligence report. but it's still significant. in a footnote, the report cites the case of u.s. sources that -- forces that sense a man for torture in egypt. secretary of state used his false claim in his famous february 5, 2003 address to the un security council. an address he would later call a stain on his career. that speech at the u.n. falsely
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alleging iraq possessed weapons of mass distraction. the senate report says that he later recanted the claim claiming he had been tortured and only told them what he knew they wanted to hear. torture. it is so important to talk about this today. what has gone on and who should be held accountable. the senate intelligence report the executive summary was released in december. it covered between 2002 and 2006. even senator john mccain a man who himself was tortured in captivity as a pow in vietnam calls for its release. graphic new details of the post-9/11 u.s. torture program came to light in december when an intelligence committee
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released that 500 page summary of its investigation into the cia. with key parts redacted. the report concludes that the intelligence agency failed to disrupt a single lot despite torturing al qaeda and other captives in secret prisons worldwide between 2002 and six and details a list of tortured methods used on prisoners including waterboarding, sexual threats with broomsticks. medically unnecessary rectal feeding. the report also come to terms the cia ran black sites in afghanistan lithuania poland in thailand. and a secret site on the non-tech -- guantanamo naval base known as strawberry fields. so far no one involved has been charged with a crime except for the whistleblower. who just came out of two years of prison and is currently under house arrest.
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it is so important to assess the bush administration and i hope in a few years you will be doing the same for the obama administration as you've done in the past. should president bush and vice president cheney secretary of defense rumsfeld and cia officials be tried for torture? that is a very serious question. a human rights group in berlin has filed a criminal complaint against the architects of the bush administration's torture program. it's called the european center for constitutional and human rights accusing former bush administration officials like cia director george tenet and donald rumsfeld of war crimes calling for an immediate investigation by a german crossing your. the move following the lead release of the senate report. it is not only international law groups that are calling for this.
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president bush's own counterterrorism czar richard clarke has called for the same. i want to congratulate ostroff for holding the discussion. but i think now it has to go beyond assessment. this is to a larger audience. if we really care about national security, and being a model for the world of justice, it has to move from assessment to an accounting. and to accountability. thank you. >> thank you very much. would any of our panelists like to comment? i would just like -- >> is this
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on? can you hear? they're not on. >> it was certainly working at the podium. no. i think it's cia dirty tricks. >> doesn't silence mean consent?
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>> it is working now. >> ok, we are ok now. >> i just simply in the interest of fairness, would respond a little bit on the senate select committee on intelligence study on rendition, detention, and interrogation, was a partisan political study. it was not two-sided, and there are four that further facts that need to come out from those who are able to correct some of the misstatements in the senate study. that has not happened yet. i hope it will happen, because i believe the american public needs to know the truth of all of this. the senate study is not the full truth. >> was there any truth in it? was there any truth in it? >> of course, there was some
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truth in it. it was a cherry-picked selective presentation of information supporting a narrative that was made before this report actually was started. the announced purpose of the report of the study, if i am correcting chairman feinstein, if i'm quoting chairman feinstein properly, was to make sure this never happens again. i'm not sure what the "this" was, but apparently, as you have gone through the report them as you go through this study, there are a series of observations that involve information that the decision-makers could have provided to the people doing the report and would have given a fairer and more complete understanding of what happened and why. if you want to know why
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something happened, it is a good idea to go back to the people who made the decision and ask them. they determinedly avoided going back to anybody they thought might spoil their narrative. so consequently, yes, there is some information that is cheery-picked, some out of context, and some factually correct as far as i know. i have not read a word of the report. i have not read a word of any of this stuff, because, to me, it is purely partisan political and the politicization of intelligence in this country is going to hurt only one person, and that is every citizen in the united states. >> i just wanted to quote senator mccain, who -- >> i love senator mccain, and would agree with you that senator mccain is the icon of prisoner of war conduct.
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he has suffered greatly for a country and made great sacrifices, and deserves to be listened to. but he does not have all of the information, either. ms. goodman: he said it is a thoughtful study of practices and i believe not only failed their purpose to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the u.s. and our allies, but actually damaged our security interests as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world. mr. goss: he is welcome to his opinion. i doubt if he has read the report. in any event, he has certainly not ask the people who were involved in this activity what they think because they have all indicated that he has not asked them. even he is dealing with less than a full deck. >> ambassador? >> i think i would love to hear some questions from the audience, but i would recall for those of you who might not have
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been here this morning, and peter baker i thought put it well, and it is a point i made in my initial presentation, that the administration was a dynamic one. it evolved. there were certain behaviors that occurred in the early part of the administration. baker talked about waterboarding and said, yes, but the last case of waterboarding was in 2003. mr. goss took his job in 2004. i did in 2005. this was an evolving situation. about my point about the president being a good customer of intelligence, let's remember that neither mr. powell nor president bush -- mr. powell did not mislead the security council when he made a presentation in february of 2003. i was sitting right behind him
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with george tenet. he believed it in good faith. it turned out that the source, who should not have been believed, and this was a real intelligence failure, had deliberately deceived his handlers and deliberately said that -- fabricated the information because he was an iraqi source and they found out that he wanted us to exactly what he did in the wake of his testimony and that of others. so this was an intelligent failure, and it led to significant intelligence reform, but neither bush nor mr. powell were trying to mislead anybody. they believed that intelligence themselves and were very
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deceived by the fact that it turned out to be false. the last point i would like to make is i know this is a talk about the bush doctrine and counterterrorism, but i think we want to keep in perspective that the foreign policy of the bush administration ranged over an enormous variety of issues whether it is the free-trade agreements that the president accomplished, his policy toward africa, and the petfar program to save people from the effects of the hiv-aids virus, his strategic move towards india establishing relations with the country of india that were unprecedented in recent decades between the united states and india, and his outreach to china, the people's republic of china as well. so just remember presidents have a very full plate in addition to their domestic responsibilities, and i would say over time -- it is not going to happen today or
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tomorrow -- but over time i think the president bush is going to be evaluated for the entirety of his foreign-policy and not just the war on terror and the two wars in afghanistan and iraq. >> mr. goss and then dr. eisenberg. goss: i was good going to say, if those who remember that era 2001 and 2002, when we were talking about weapons of mass destruction, the conventional wisdom was they were there, and it was not just something that was manufactured.
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it was every intelligence organization on a global basis with whom the networks were talking to each other, and there was a lot of different information coming from a lot of different sectors. it was all a little bit sort of whifty information. there were some things that were pretty clear. one was that saddam hussein's sons had given information and went back and was summarily executed at some point. i think that was correct. it is a while since i remembered all of this. but i remember a celebrated moment was when director tenet had announced to the president this was a slamdunk. yes, of course they had mass distraction weapons. i don't believe anybody was intentionally misleading anybody. what i said was our intelligence was not up to snuff as we had -- because we had hollowed out our capacity as part of the peace dividend. the fact that we did not have
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the best information is sad, and it lead to tragic consequences in a number of cases, i am sure. but, what we did learn the lesson, and the lesson was revealed our intelligence community, which is what we are trying to do. but it will never work if we politicize for partisan gain or some other agenda the facts and try and tell only a part of the narrative rather than the whole narrative. and that is my beef with the senate study. ms. eisenberg: when we talk of the politicization of information, it is certainly well known and understood by this time that vice president cheney, not once, not twice in -- not five times, not seven times, went to the cia headquarters and pressured them to come up with a certain result.
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if that is not politicization of intelligence, i do not know what is. so it is very important that we keep that in mind them and again, particularly, because that pressure on that agency and other agencies of government policies that proved to be inordinately costly for other people. i do not want to spend a huge amount of time about who did not know. i want to say if the beer president of the united states turns to the cia director and asks if the intelligence is really reliable and the cia guy says it is a slamdunk, and that is persuasive. i do not necessarily find that is the most intelligent consumption of information on the part of a president. i think it would have been important for george bush to ask more questions than that. to go beyond all of this, i think ambassador negroponte alluded to this, a thing to keep in mind is there were weapons
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inspectors in iraq, that because of the u.n. resolution, saddam hussein in those last months admitted weapons inspectors into his country without restriction. there were inspectors going there from the international atomic energy commission, other inspectors who are looking for chemical weapons. they said that they found no evidence that saddam hussein was stockpiling weapons. remember, rumsfeld and cheney kept saying over and over we know where these weapons are. we know where they are. here are these u.n. inspectors that presumably communicated with americans who knew where these weapons are, and they are not finding anything.
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and you are the president of the united states, and you are being told by two teams of weapons and -- inspectors that either definitely not or we do not seem to be finding it, give us more time. and instead of responding to the inspectors in that way, he says we are finding anything, get us more time, and the international support is eroding every day because people were becoming more suspicious because if they were there, instead of doing that, the president decides to invade. whether or not the cia did job or not, the question still is, why didn't the president of the united states if he wanted to avoid a war, why didn't he listen to the u.n. teams. >> it is time for a take questions from the audience. i think there is a microphone. somebody is holding a microphone. it will go around if you raise your hand. when you ask your question, if
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you want to direct it toward one of the panelists, just indicate which of the panelists, and if it is a general question you are throwing out, then it will be up to one of the panelists to take that question. please remember we are here to ask questions and not to make statements. i believe you had your hand up on the way back there. yes, that is right. where's the microphone? ok. >> this question is for professor knott. you mentioned what you would do on september 12. what would you do from january until september 10, when he ignores warnings from the intelligence agencies? i think that is a more important question to ask, what would you do in the days leading up to that? mr. knott: i think both presidents bush and clinton deserve criticism for not giving the threat of al qaeda the priority it was due. i know that richard clarke would
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disagree. he said that the clinton administration did focus on al qaeda. al qaeda declared war on the united states in 1996. they repeated the declaration in 19 98th. in the meantime, you have the two embassy bombings in africa. you have u.s. is: the fall of 2000. you have the uss cole in the fall of 2000. there is plenty of blame to go around. both president clinton and president bush in that interim period did not give al qaeda the attention it was due. and to be honest i think a field in a very critical role which the president has to play, which is to educate the american public. the fact was this group was determined to strike the united states and kept escalating, and look how many americans were surprised when 9/11 happened. that should not have happened. it should not have been a
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surprise to anybody. >> can i ask a question of director goss -- rather, of mr. negroponte. mr. goss said if we knew then what we know today, we might have done things different which i think is a very reasonable thing to say. do you think that mr. negroponte, that knowing what we know today, the iraq war was wrong, and do you think that torture is wrong? mr. negroponte: torture is never right. ms. goodman: you think the bush mistake administration was wrong to engage in it? mr. negroponte: you can find quotes. i was asked if we should use force in iraq, and i sit in questions like this, i think we ought to approach the issue with a great deal of caution.
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i also said that we ought -- and i felt -- that we ought to allow the inspection process more time to do its work. i was disappointed that it was not allowed. you have one president at a time. he is the commander in chief. he has the constitutional authority, and that is what he decided to do. the last point i would make to your issue about hans blicks blicks and i had a chance to reminisce about this, and i said to him, it is amazing. we set up this inspection thing and we never found anything, and what the heck happened? he said, that is right but he said i still do not understand why saddam behaved so guilty, and maybe that is why he had some doubts, because saddam sort of emanated this sort of sensation that he was hiding something.
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some people have speculated and think it was an fbi agent who interviewed him, he wanted people to think he had a couple of wmd's in the neighborhood, so this was part of his strategy. if indeed it was his strategy, a -- it boomeranged. >> next question from the audience. >> during your time as ambassador, he expose the role of the u.s. and death squads within the iraqi security forces, i am wondering if anything was done to crack down on that. the second question is, that could be part of the dark legacy
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that the u.s. was associated with some very vicious elements in iraq. your thoughts on that. the second element, you're talking about other elements of bush's foreign policy, we know that there are human rights abuses of the colombian military, which is been a model for mexico. is that a success? also, what about the u.s. support for the congo war? you mentioned africa. i agree that the aids initiative was positive, but what about the u.s. role in supporting the rwa -- and the wanton and ugandan military's and their plunder of congo and the 5 million deaths that occurred in conngo? is that a success? >> probably we do not have time to go through all of these issues exhaustively, but i think the thought that colonel steele
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was training death squads in iraq is utter nonsense, and certainly our objective when i was ambassador, there was a standup a professional national army, and i consider that a priority objective. our success until now has been mixed, but that was the objective. on colombia, the plan for the country has been a great success. it was started by bill clinton. it was continued by george w. bush. colombia is a democratic country and is a lot safer than it was before. war is hell. we know that. to think that the presidents both approached the conflict with democratic ideals in mind. they were not trying to be dictators, not trying to behave in some kind of a beastial way.
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there are trying to win the security of their country, but preserve its democratic framework. >> yes. >> this question is really for mr. goss or just about anyone. after the post invasion of iraq in 2003, there were these massive bloodshed within the civilian population because of the brewing insurgency. why did it take the bush administration so long to realize that they had an insurgency in iraq, and why did they fail to protect the civilian population? >> i suspect the ambassador has a better key on iraq than i do but my answer to that would be simply, the situation in iraq evolved rather quickly from what
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we thought was going to be the desired result and what some thought the policy makers thought was going to be the desired result. somebody said flowers were going to be strewn and our soldiers were going to be greeted. it turned out that we really did not have that. he had a proconsul out there. we had an ambassador that brought things along. the process, while we were trying to build democracy in iraq, there were people in nearby countries and in nearby groups trying to destabilize iraq and trying to make sure that those efforts to plant seeds of democracy did not succeed. i would give you iran as a case in point, where killing our soldiers or providing equipment to kill our soldiers, while at the same time we were trying to bring the democratic institutions to bear and set up friendships between people who were not friendly to share the power of the country and assist
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them, that would look like a potential way to bring forward change in government in the future without violence and bloodshed. the problem is we are dealing with something that has been going on since 640 a.d., if not longer, if you take the condition of humanity, and these folks are still trying to settle a score. we withdrew, a vacuum took place, the surge worked for a while, we left, we did not have a status of forces agreement look at what we have today. we have isil. would we have had isil 12 years sooner if we had never gone to iraq? a fair question to ask. >> all the way in the back, yes, you. >> hi. my question is somebody made a
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reference to sort of historians rushing to judgment about george w. bush. it is not my place -- how true that is. don't forward to how possible would it be to do real work, research wise, history wise, when so much of the information is demonized? i think of the iraqi war logs, as an example. that is my question. >> so much of the history. i missed the word you use. so much of the history is what? >> demonized. >> oh, oh. well, i'm not a professional archivist. i know we have the director of the bush library here. i am sure he can answer your question for you. i'm not sure what you mean by demonized unless you are talking
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about leakers who are still within the government and then decide to follow edward snowden's path. there are people who demonized them. if you are a presidential historian, a good one will tell you you have to wait at least 20 years, because you have to let the passions cool. you have to do the spade work. the problem is worse than use suggested because nobody puts anything down in writing anymore, is a point was made earlier today by one of the first panels, cause they are afraid of getting a subpoena from capitol hill or a special processsecutor. i would still make the case that if you are a presidential historian like arthur sledges -- arthur -- who said that george w. bush was one of the worst presidents in history, and what the cheney that's what cheney was trying to do was -- what cheney was trying to do was world domination.
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>> next question, please. two of our panelists have to leave right now. i want to thank them on behalf of hofstra for coming here today. [applause] we still have a few minutes ahead of us. let's take any other questions. yes. a student over here. >> so, professor knott you said with the events leading up to 9/11 we should have taken more count and put more focus on the events, like the threat of afghanistan. so do you believe -- >> al qaeda in afghanistan.
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>> so do you believe that now with isil we should be putting more focus on them, or should we handle the situation any differently than we are? mr. goss: look, i am not trying to be evasive. even though i teach at a war college, that is not my specialty. at the moment, the anti-isis offensive seems to be primarily led by iran, but the american public has zero appetite for the boots on the ground expression. while we can contribute airpower with indigenous forces, with iranians, whether that will work or not, i do not know. >> i would commend a report that came out today called after liberation destruction, and it is about the areas of iraq that were taken over by isis, isil. >> i would commend a report that came out today called after liberation destruction and it is about the areas of iraq that were taken over by isis, isil.
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and now with iraqi militias moving through, they are destroying full towns, and a have the video of this, and it is important understand what is happening today, how extensive the devastation is. >> marty? >> i am sorry, the other panelists had left because that question applied to them. it has to do with the fact that we supposedly have 17 intelligence agencies with tens of billions of dollars expended on so-called intelligence, and yet we did not predict the end of the cold war. we did not predict 9/11. and we have not predicted isil coming to power the way they did. can you explain why?
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>> yeah, i agree, and i'm glad they left, because there are some serious problems in the intelligence community. ms. goodman: we have to bring them back. mr. goss: they might have killed me. [laughter] no, look, what i am about to tell you is not the majority view. i do presidential history, but also do intelligence history and in my view a lot of damage was done, and i know my colleagues here are not going to agree with this at all, but if you want to penetrate a group like al qaeda or isil, you got to do some pretty nasty stuff. and that just is not sit well with the congressional oversight committees, which were created in the mid-1970's after the church committee, that i alluded to earlier.
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i think there has been a lot of restrictions put in place and a lot of things that make the congressional overseers uncomfortable, which is why and explained some of those intelligence failures, not all of them. the language problem i think director goss alluded to is critical as well. i think we have made some improvements there. but the fact -- and i grant you we need to have a debate in this country how much of a player do we want to be on the world stage? if the answer is we want to be, then you need an intelligence community that will do things that are not necessarily going to make us proud all the time. but there is not an intelligence service in the world that does not undertake uncomfortable actions, to say the least, and especially if you're talking about a group like isil or al qaeda. ms. goodman: i think the practice of torture threatens our national security.
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what it did in the lead up to iraq, it is interesting to hear mr. negroponte say he had serious questions about going to war in iraq. this came from faulty information from people. when you question whether congressional oversight serves a democratic society, i think the only thing that does not serve it is when intelligence community is not overseen. that is what we have seen through the bush administration. mr. goss: i would point out on the question of waterboarding, we know that key members of the intelligence committees were briefed, including nancy pelosi, and we will not go down this path, because i think she has since denied that, but there's good evidence to indicate these folks were told and in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the word was do
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whatever you have to and if need be do more. at the least, if you're opposed to torture, do not focus your fire exclusively on the bush white house. a lot of it was coming from capitol hill as well. >> do you believe there was any chance that any intelligence that indicated a contrary conclusion would have prevented that war? i know what you will say, i think. if they were here, i would have addressed it to them. mr. goss: i do not share the view that bush on 9/12 was determined to go after iraq. it is clear that people like paul wolfowitz were. he was the secretary of defense, deputy. i also did not live view it was because saddam tried to kill his father. there's a lot of crazy stuff out there. i think bush was radicalized by
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9/11. >> what is the connection? mr. goss: because it radicalized bush. the al qaeda stuff is fiction. i believe that bush himself was radicalized by the events of 9/11, and opted to go big, and go big was to send a shockwave through the part of the world, and the phrase was used at the time, drain the swamp. the swamp was the semi-states that provided shelter for al qaeda, that you might move that region of the world in a more positive direction. >> we have time for one more question. kayla? >> to broaden the conversation back to the decision to invade iraq, kofi annan said this was
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an illegal war, a war of aggression. so based under the nuremberg tribunal, what about accountability for that? amy goodman mentioned accountability. would you call it an illegal war right off the bat? mr. goss: in terms of strictly american legality, i know the authorization to use force, you had the initial authorization to use force against afghanistan in the fall, winter of 2001, and you had congress go on record essentially giving bush the authority to use force if he thought that was appropriate. and again, we should point out there was decent bipartisan support for giving bush's authority.
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hillary clinton, joe biden harry reid, john kerry, richard gephardt, etc., etc. so from a strictly american standpoint, i have a hard time viewing iraq as an illegal war. it is certainly -- where obama it was certainly more legal than president obama's use of force in libya without going to congress at all. >> i think we've been very clear in suggesting that this was a violation of international law. >> [indiscernable] >> i cannot speak for amy goodman -- >> just sit closer to it, that is all. ms. eisenberg: i cannot speak for amy, but it's clearly a violation of international law.
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united states went into iraq without the backing of the united nations, attacking a country that had not attacked us and where there was no imminent likelihood that they would have attacked us. this seems to be part of the very self-evident point. the practical situation is that there's nobody in the world that can call us to account. i think it is very important to keep an overarching perspective. the extent to which folks in the bush administration were really people who were looking around in the aftermath of the cold war. i think it took a while for that to sink in that we did not have the soviet union as an enemy anymore. we do not have to be careful about those things that we hesitated to do before. and you really had coming to power in the bush administration people who were taking the view that now that we were the sole superpower that we were able to exert our influence and use our power in
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ways we had not done previously. and so in that context, the idea that you would go and attack another country that does not threaten you directly, that has not committed an act of aggression, that became somehow unacceptable idea. i'm not sure we learned from that either. i do not see any possible way of justifying this in terms of international law. i think it is important, so important what hofstra is doing, evaluating presidencies but i also think it is important to evaluate the grassroot movements that are the true movers and shakers, the bravery of those who have spoken out and continue to speak out. barbara lee, the congress member from oakland, california, as you pointed out hillary clinton and many others
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in the democratic leadership voted for the war. there's no question they voted to authorize at the end of 2002. barbara lee stood alone saying war is not the answer, that she would not sign any blank check for war if we wanted to make ourselves safer. and i think 14 years later in 2015, as we look back, this woman was prophetic, and it is the movements that she represented and those that she did not, these also deserve university examination to give voice to those who lost their lives, who continue to speak out, who are imprisoned, who are the targets of u.s. foreign policy. we have to hear from all of them and their loved ones when they cannot speak for themselves. >> the last word. >> a very relatively minor
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point, but i don't think it's been mentioned yet. there is no question that the neocons were itching, many of them, to get even in a sense or to go into iraq. it is important to note that under president clinton, with congressional acquiescence regime change became the official policy of the united states government during the clinton years, not the bush years. that does not justify the 2003 invasion, but there were a series of steps they could see leading to the invasion. >> i would like to thank our surviving panelists, and i want to thank all of you. thanks very much. [applause]
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>> president obama was one of the speakers at the son of joe biden, and by former members. george w. bush administration on counterterrorism. after that, a house hearing on u.s. energy security. >> on news makers patrick leahy, ranking member of the judiciary committee and co-author of the u.s.a. freedom act zutches the impact of the law on surveillance and privacy. news makers. sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> this sunday on c-span's road to the white house a conversation with former virginia senator and likely democratic presidential candidate jim webb. he discusses growing up in a military family and his service as a marine in vietnam.
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american foreign policy. politics. congress. and what he likes about campaigning. >> i enjoy the face-to-face campaigning. you know, i enjoy getting out in the town hall meetings and talking to people and listening to what their thoughts are and being able to clarify mine. what i don't enjoy is campaign finance. to be very blunt about that. and i actually said -- i announced the exploratory committee that one thing i can say is that i will -- i will never owe anything to anyone if i am elected. but it's a very tough proposition to be able to raise enough funds in order to conduct a viable campaign. and that's really where our decision point is. >> jim webb. this sunday at 6:35 p.m. eastern. on road to the white house 2016. on c-span. now the funeral service for beau biden, son of vice president joe biden, and former
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delaware attorney general. he died last month of brain cancer. at the age of 47. president obama delivered the eulogy at this mass at st. anthony roman catholic church in wilmington, delaware. this portion of the service is about an hour and 40 minutes. [bagpipes playing] ♪
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>> [indistinct chatter] [bagpipes playing]
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>> [indistinct chatter]
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>> good morning. it is my distinct honor to be here today to remember and celebrate the life and accomplishments of beau biden. a father, a husband, a son, a
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friend, a leader, a soldier, and a patriot. a life much too short, but a life that had incredible meaning and a life that left an indelible mark on all of us. beau's family was the center of his life, and he always put them first. his loving wife and his son and daughter hunter and ashley, his brother and sister, i know how much he loved you also dearly. i know this is an exceptionally difficult time for a family. words cannot express the sorrow that linda and i have for the loss of beau. but as i look out across the audience gathered here today, i reflect on the impact beau's
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life has had on all of us all across the nation. in particular, the state of delaware throughout the united states army, and most of all his family, friends, and colleagues. i want to start off talking about beau biden, the soldier. it was in iraq when i had the incredible honor to serve the site him and really get to know him. it is sometimes -- serve beside him and really get to know him. the shared commitment to mission. the unspoken reliance on each other. the undefinable trust that is forged. it is a brotherhood that only a few understand. i have always believed that an
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individual's character defines them as a person. a man's character is revealed under the most extreme and stressful conditions. i was able to witness firsthand his incredible character. he understood the importance of maintaining trust with his fellow soldiers. with the public to gain justice. the victims that he fought so hard for. with everyone that he came into contact with. he did it by smiling listening and showing genuine compassion to all. he cared deeply for his fellow human beings. he always treated everyone with the dignity and respect. bo biden's character was genuine.
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he had a charisma that few people possess. people wanted to follow him. completely trusted his judgment. and believed in him. he was selfless to a fault. always subordinating his personal needs to the welfare of everyone else, including his soldiers, unit, and everyone around him. he was proud to serve with the delaware national guard. he would tell me over and over again, sir, i am just another soldier doing my best at my job to accomplish the mission. he was committed to his community, his home state, and to a nation. frankly, a nation that i believe that beau biden would someday lead. he was inspirational,
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humble, intelligent, insightful always building a team. he was a man of incredible personal and moral courage. i am not political by nature but i see value of individuals with military service in our government. before beau redeployed i talked to him. this was just after senator biden became vice president biden. i spent 10 minutes talking to him about running for senator because i thought it was important to have people with military experience in congress. beau listened and looked me in the eye for 10 minutes and said sir, thank you so much. you honor me with your words. he looked at me and

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